JAI Reyes erupted for 22 points to lift the Saigon Heat past the San Miguel Beermen, 92-89, on Saturday night in the Asean Basketball League at the Tan Binh Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.
Dior Alexandros Lowhorn chipped in a game-high 27 points, while David Palmer added 26 for the Heat, who notched their third win in four games to take the solo lead at the expense of the Beermen.
San Miguel import Gabe Freeman missed a potential game-tying three-pointer that could have sent the game into overtime as the Beermen suffered their first loss this season for an even 1-1 (win-loss) slate.
But it was Reyes who stood out during the game as he shot 8-of-16 from the field, including a 3-of-6 clip from three-point range.
“Hats off to Jai. Looked like I was back in the UAAP. Lights out!” tweeted San Miguel sports director Noli Eala on his account @NoliEala, who was in Ho Chi Minh City to personally watch the game.
The Heat rode the support of a raucous Ho Chi Minh crowd that has been their staple in their home games as the Beermen failed to hold on to a 68-62 lead entering the fourth.
“Loud wake up call! Tough loss. Beermen didn't play smart and Heat made the shots they needed to make. Plus tough to play in this bldg,” added Eala.
Six players scored in double figures for the Beermen, but not enough to clinch for them the win.
Freeman tallied a team-high 16 points, but shot just 6-of-24 from the field. Former PBA MVPs Eric Menk and Asi Taulava had their best game so far in their young ABL career with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Import Brian Williams had 14 points and 16 rebounds, Chris Banchero added 11 and six assists, while Val Acuna chipped in 10.
Saigon Heat (92) -- Lowhorn 27, Palmer 26, Reyes 22, Morrison 9, Tieu 6, Dehesa 2, Jones 0, Tuan 0.
San Miguel Beermen (89) -- Freeman 16, Williams 14, Menk 12, Acuna 12, Banchero 11, Taulava 10, Cawaling 8, Avenido 6, Hubalde 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20; 42-46; 62-68; 92-89.